How Seniors And Millennials Are Impacting Denver’s Housing Market

How Seniors And Millennials Are Impacting Denver’s Housing Market

Millennials (born between 1981-1996) could be waiting twenty years to save enough to afford a 20% downpayment on a home in Denver, Westword reports. Despite this news, Denver remains a popular location with millennial house-hunters who are buying homes at an increasing rate — even if they’re having to pay more than previous generations. One reason for this is the new trend in older Americans “aging in place”, resulting in less houses on the market which drives up the price for millenials.

Changes in home ownership over generations

In Denver and across the US, home ownership isn’t as prevalent for millennials as it was for their parents and grandparents. For example, 14% of Generation Xers who moved home in 2000 did so to buy their own homes, compared to 6% of millennials today. In 1981, 56% of baby boomers ages 25 to 35 lived in homes they were buying, compared to 37% of millennials today. And, if the homeownership rate for millennials was the same today as it was for previous generations aged 25-39, there’d be 3.4 million more homeowners.

Denver: popular with millenials

The millennials who are buying homes consider Denver one of the top destinations — the city ranked sixth on the Meyers Millennial Desirability Index (behind Dallas, Houston, Austin, Phoenix and Orlando). With a median home value of  $427,300, Denver isn’t the cheapest location, yet it has its perks. Denver offers high-paying employment opportunities (something millennials prioritize as they’re sick of the hassle and expense of commuting). It’s also popular for its activities and lower crime rates.

Denver seniors aging in place

Many older Denver residents intend to stay put in their own homes, therefore keeping them off-limits to millennials. Aging in place is increasingly desired for the comfort and familiarity it offers. However, it can also be costly. Home improvements or in-home caretakers may be necessary, for example. Numerous seniors are therefore using reverse mortgages to borrow against their home equity tax-free in order to continue living in their homes comfortably through old age. In fact, this trend is largely responsible for Colorado’s fast-growing aging population — by 2030, the 65-and-older population will rise to 1.27 million, a 77% increase from 2015.

Alternatively, older residents may choose to sell their homes and move in with family, downsize, or join assisted living communities. Their homes are then freed up for younger buyers. As millennials continue to reach peak home-buying age (25-45), we can expect the percentage of millennial Denver home-owners to only increase from here.

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